The ICC’s International Court of Arbitration announced last week that from now on, it will communicate the reasons for many of the administrative decisions it takes under the ICC Rules of Arbitration.
According to the press release, this additional service, as the ICC calls it, will apply to decisions made on arbitrator challenges (Art. 14 ICC Rules), to replacement proceedings and decisions to replace an arbitrator (Art. 15(2) ICC Rules) as well as to decisions on the consolidation of arbitration proceedings (Art. 10 ICC Rules) and on jurisdiction (Art. 6(4) ICC Rules).
The new policy will be effective immediately. However, a communication of the reasons of the decision requires that (i) the parties agree that they want these reasons published, and (ii) submit a request for reasons prior to seeking a decision from the Court. The request may attract an additional administrative “normally not to exceed” USD 5,000.
In ist press release, the ICC said: “Providing reasons as to Court decisions will further enhance the transparency and clarity of the ICC arbitration process. This new service is a sign of our commitment to ensuring that ICC arbitration is fully responsive to the needs of our users the world over.”
It appears, however, that the added transparency of the Court’s decision-making process will, first and foremost, benefit the parties to the arbitration only. Only if, in a second step, either the parties agreed to the publication of these administrative decisions or the ICC were to publish them in anonymized form, a body of case law could develop which would benefit the wider arbitration community.